The Webb School of Knoxville Spartans used a third-quarter comeback and a buzzer-beating three pointer to defeat the Stone Memorial Panthers 63-60 on Friday night at SMHS, giving the Panthers their first loss of the season.
“I’m proud of the kids and their effort,” said SMHS head coach Neil Capps. “They competed, and they fought the entire game. Obviously, Knox Webb is a very good team and very well coached. They put us in a lot of tough situations.”
The three-pointers were falling for Stone Memorial in the first quarter as Zach Street and Justin Headrick connected on consecutive shots to give SMHS a 12-4 lead with 2:35 remaining in the opening frame. Stone Memorial led 18-13 after one quarter.
SMHS expanded their lead to 32-19 with 4:05 left until halftime on another three-pointer by Street. Stone Memorial took a 36-29 lead into the locker room. SMHS hit six three-pointers in the first half, including two by Street, two by Headrick, and one by Brett Newcome and Jared VanWinkle.
Webb showed why they are a top Division II program in the third quarter by bouncing back to tie the contest at 38 points apiece before taking a 41-40 lead with 2:28 left in the third. The Spartans held SMHS to only six points in the third frame to make the score 44-42 in favor of Webb going into the final period.
“We didn’t move the ball very good in that third quarter,” said Capps. “We had untimely turnovers, and we got away from what got us a halftime lead. We let pressure bother us. It happens, but we’ve got to learn from that. That’s why we schedule tough opponents.”
Stone Memorial’s offense came back to life in the fourth quarter. The teams traded leads and ties throughout the fourth quarter until SMHS was able to take a 58-55 lead with 1:30 to go via a three by Street on an assist from Jack Eldridge. Webb followed and converted an and-one to tie it again at 58.
Webb scored to go ahead 60-58 with 16 seconds left before Newcome hit a layup to tie the contest at 60.
Knox Webb inbounded under the Panther basket with 4.5 seconds left before David Sanger converted on a buzzer-beating three pointer from 26 feet away to give the Spartans the 63-60 victory.
Stone Memorial will have a week to prepare for their next contest, a rematch with the Spartans in Knoxville on Friday.
“We have to understand how they like to play,” added Capps. “We have to handle that pressure. What we were doing was right, we’ve just got to take care of the ball. They took care of the ball better than us.”
Newcome finished with 19 points, followed by 17 points and three assists from Street.
Stone Memorial (60): Brett Newcome 19, Zach Street 17, Justin Headrick 6, Kaleb McCoy 5, Jared VanWinkle 5, Chris Coudriet 4, Jack Eldridge 2, Zach Boyd 2